Fortress of Solitude

When our world was being ruled by kingdoms, Game of Thrones wasn't just fiction but reality. Empires were destroyed, and some monuments stand as proof of their history. I share my experience when I visited Sigiriya, popularly known as the ancient rock fortress of Sri Lanka.

This ancient rock fortress is located in the northern Matale District near the town of Dambulla in the Central Province, Sri Lanka. It is majorly dominated by a massive column of rock. You can pretend to be might swordsmen of a wealthy emperor. This place does have that magic that can awaken the fighter in you. The rock has a pretty dramatic history, straight out of Netflix period drama where the writer keeps throwing twists and turns to keep the ratings sky high. Absent rich father, step-sibling rivalry, and political plays for the throne, Vengeance. It absolutely feels like a season of GOT.

The Lion rock

The place is declared a world heritage site by UNESCO and is considered the 8th wonder of the world. You will feel overwhelmed by looking at the remnants of generations that lived there centuries before us. You can't help but picturize their lives in your mind. Would their lifestyles be vibrant or filled with melancholy and sadness due to the constant battles? 

You shall be greeted by an enormous lion carved out of stone, a gateway to Sigiriya when you visit the place. To welcome the visitors and warn the enemies. Two gigantic lion paws that guard a narrow staircase can make your heart skip a beat even now. The place got its name Sigiriya or Sinhagiri which translates to lion rock.

Frescos - the tale of celestial nymphs 

The western wall of Sigiriya was almost entirely covered by frescoes created during the reign of Kashyapa. Those walls are adorned by 21 beautiful nymphs whose beauty will spellbind you. Some say they were apsaras (Celestial nymphs), some say they were wives of King Kashyapa. These pretty ladies cast an enchanting spell and turn heads with their beauty, elegance, and such a powerful aura that can hypnotize you even now through these frescos.

Then there is a mirror wall that produced reflections back then; these ancient royals had an incredible eye for such fascinating creations. Some artists have covered the wall with graffiti for over 1500 years with their skillful hands. 

Golden Temple in Dambulla

The Royal rock temple complex of Dambulla is home to some of the most impressive historical artwork in Sri Lanka. Five caves are filled with over 150 Buddhist statues and paintings, Murals depicting Buddha's life. 

Palace above the clouds

The oldest surviving palace in Sri Lanka. This fact is enough to cast a melancholy shadow over your thoughts and raise hairs on your body due to the eerie feeling it radiates. It is surrounded by the most intricate design of urban planning. 
King Kashyapa occupied Sigiriya after making a play at the throne but ultimately perished during the battle at the site. The rock palace he built stands for the brilliance of early Sinhalese engineering and design. The wilderness around Sigiriya still hides the ruins which are yet to be discovered. As the lion rock stood there to witness the story unfold, Sigiriya became an incomparable centerpiece.
Klaus O
January 07, 2022
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